DSquared2 designers welcome the fashion crowd back to Milan

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Dean and Dan Caten warmly greeted the guests, among others Swedish attacker Zlatan Ibrahimovic put together on Friday for the first broadcast of Canadian designing twins live in two years as Milan Fashion Week opened with a hint of optimism despite the omicron truncated calendar.

“The big thing is in this room,” they told the crowd in impromptu comments before the show for their DSquared2 label. “Thank you for being here and supporting us in our decision to do a physical show. It’s a step forward for us. “

“It’s been two long years and it’s great to be back,” the twins said before revealing a colorful and cozy Canadian mix of fluffy coats, quilted shorts over jeans lined with soft woolen blankets – just a ticket back to the mix outdoors and away from the growing crowd.

The rise in the omicron version has forced men’s clothing previews at Milan Fashion Week for Fall-Winter 2022-23 to be slashed, as events were significantly fewer than originally planned. Access to these has been severely restricted due to pandemic restrictions such as Italy The number of virus infections reaches record levels almost every day.

World power plants such as Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada will still host live broadcasts, while Milan will be the main host Giorgio Armani completely canceled, and other brands have canceled exhibitions on the runway for digital. More than 40 planned live events have been cut by a quarter, with about 15 live broadcasts continuing in addition to physical presentations.

It is far from last year’s delta crash, when Milan’s runways were completely closed.

“It is positive that many important brands have opted for runway events, and that is a good sign,” said Carlo Capasa, president of the Italian National Fashion Chamber. “Fashion is the second most important industry in Italy. It is important to remember that we need to live with this virus and we need to find a way to protect human health, while continuing to work to enable this industry to continue to operate. ”

As the pandemic continues to overshadow Europe, Paris has also confirmed a reduced selection of runway exhibitions from 18 to 23 January, followed by high fashion, while London has canceled the January calendar to be combined with women’s previews in February.

In Milan, the fashion crowd was surprised to find themselves in seats in auditoriums facing the Zegna preview maxi-screen.

Instead of the live show on the runway that many expected, creative director Alessandro Sartori showed a 15-minute video of models dressed in dirty white, black and gray on a snowy road in the Zegna family’s Oasi nature reserve in neighboring Piedmont. This was followed by a technical presentation of new images with living models.

“It’s 10% live and 90% virtual,” Sartori told guests. “It would be just the opposite if we didn’t have these problems,” he said, referring to the latest wave of the virus, which appeared in a seemingly perfect symphony with the fashion calendar.

Zegna is being transformed by omitting the first name of founder Ermenegildo Zegna from the official name and merging its three lines, along with a recent public listing on the New York Stock Exchange, to boost future growth. The new logo – reminiscent of a road with yellow markings on the lanes – marks the main road through the family reserve, as well as the road ahead.

“I’m sure whatever the bloody Covid will turn out,” said Gildo Zegna, the brand’s CEO, defiantly.

Sartori has redesigned the outfit for younger clients and offers a soft-cut outer jacket lined with a longer tunic coat and trousers, all in matching fabrics of varying weights. They are united by a fake cashmere collar. In Sartori’s vision, buyers of the luxury menswear line will build their wardrobe season after season and add new pieces with the main color palette in gray-white, black and flannel gray, replacing this season with eggplant and a shade of burnt umber called vicuna. for a camellia bred for its precious wool.

In contrast, the DSquared2 collection invited you on a journey in a more prosaic, devilish way. The layered look, which includes cropped puffs, pleated plaid skirts and sequined shorts, hinted at hippies still looking for the Grateful Dead traveling show, but happily spending time climbing or trekking through the snow with removable crampons, printed bottles with water. in the front pocket.

Canadians did not need a partnership with an outdoor brand to show that wilderness is in their DNA – unlike another Milan brand.

Federico Cina launched his brand just before the outbreak of the pandemic, so it may be appropriate for him to debut on the runway as the virus continued to spread. The long silhouette represents free-falling knits or ribbed knits that are easily applied to wide pants. The first runway collection contained a leaf motif taken from a wooden footprint from the coastal areas of the Emilia-Romagna region.

“I never thought I would give up,” Cina said behind the scenes. “Especially because the Chamber of Fashion gives me this moment of recognition during Milan Fashion Week. It’s just huge. I never thought I wouldn’t take part in the show, especially with the right precautions. “

The Italian fashion scene has been hit by a pandemic since Italy recorded the first locally transmitted virus in the West in the middle of Fashion Week in February 2020. Armani was the first to close its exhibition space to live spectators and broadcast the Fall-Winter 2020-21 Collection from an empty theater.

The digital trend continued with a few exceptions on live runways until last September’s preview of women’s clothing for spring-summer 2022, when vaccination rates typically heralded a return to live broadcasts, albeit with limited numbers and social distance. That was enough to offer promises that fashion enthusiasts in something closer to pre-pandemic numbers would be able to re-install seats on the runway where they could determine first-hand whether this shiny fabric is silk or not. satin.

For this edition, travel restrictions and concerns mean that many editors and buyers who planned to travel to Milan this month have canceled, especially from the United States, Capasa said. In addition, parts of Asia and Eastern Europe – important fashion markets – carry out vaccinations that have not been approved by European health authorities, which limits travel to Italy.

According to current health guidelines, fashion houses must provide four square meters (just over 40 square meters) for each guest – a space that previously could accommodate as many as eight. In many cases, that means about one-tenth of the audience before a pandemic, which requires heavy calls, even if fewer people are traveling. More FFP2 masks are required.

In fashion terms, the pandemic is now in its eighth season. Capasa was pleased to note that there had never been an outbreak before Fashion Week.

“We need to learn to live with this virus and take care of the behavior,” Capasa said. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that we have to think very quickly and adapt to the situation.”

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